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Tuesday, February 10, 2009
Who wins and loses by moving the Texas-Tech game early?

By ESPN.com staff
ESPN.com

Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Griffin

Something tells me that Texas Tech sophomore quarterback Taylor Potts wasn't consulted on moving the Red Raiders' game at Texas to Sept. 19.

Potts now will likely be facing one of the most difficult road debuts imaginable when the Red Raiders travel to face the Longhorns in a game moved ahead for television purposes. It likely will be only his third career start and he'll be facing the Longhorns with three new starters protecting his blind side from the left of his offensive line.

The game now will provide national television exposure for both programs early in the season. If Potts and the Red Raiders struggle, Mike Leach might not be very excited about it.

Moving the game will provide a key boost for Texas, which had a tame September before the switch. The Longhorns were set to play Louisiana-Monroe, at Wyoming, Central Florida and UTEP.

But the switch now will provide the Longhorns with a key conference opponent which should be be important in building early national reputation and will resonate with national pollsters.

The biggest winner might be the Big 12, which has struck gold recently by setting up several national television games in the last week like Oklahoma State-Colorado and Missouri-Nebraska in the last week.

It now will have the huge early-season game between Texas and Texas Tech as its early conference game for the first time since Nebraska and Oklahoma State opened the season in 2003.

This strategy now makes the Big 12 much like the SEC, which has always seemed to have a huge game like Florida-Tennessee popping up in September.

It also will likely ensure that the Oklahoma-Nebraska game on Nov. 7 will be the conference's featured game. And if both those teams are as competitive as expected it could likely be ticketed for national television, too.